Bing search in Windows 8.1 to work anywhere in the OS

Microsoft has finally revealed some of the first official information bits about the new features it will put into the upcoming free Windows 8.1 update. That includes some improvements to the search experience from the Bing team, which has been working in concert with the Windows division on Windows 8.1.

In a new post on the official Bing blog, Derrick Connell, the Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft's Bing division, states:

With search in Windows 8.1 our intent is to have one way to find what you’re looking for, no matter where it lives – whether it’s a document on your PC, a photo album in the cloud, an app, PC setting or a website.  In just a tap or a click you can play, view, launch, or browse.

As previously rumored, search in Windows 8.1 can be enabled from anywhere in the OS. The search engine will automatically offer up suggestions for your search string and those results could come from inside the PC or from the Internet; the Bing engine will also generate images from a user's search results.

Connell uses an example of searching for "Paris" that brings up photos of the city in France, along with links for popular attractions in the area and upcoming local events. Windows 8.1 will also let users book a trip with the Bing Travel app to the city without having to type in "Paris" again.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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How do i get rid of the horrific app of Bing search in Windows phone 8? Incredible how im bound to read ads in a search when I bought the most expensive phone. To have a button that you dont wanna use, why dont Microsoft offer what the customer wants instead of trying to making us using stuff that sucka. Love phone 8 otherwise, but im going to google soon if i vant have the apps i like, and be forced to use the useless Bing ****.

Better search is desperately needed. Aggregating results instead of sectioning them out works much, much better. I don't understand why they didn't do this in the first place. If anyone has used Windows Server 2012, they know how annoying it is having to switch to the Settings tab each time (since more often than not, you're searching to launch some Admin Tools/System Settings app)

I wonder if Google will fully embrace the platform. A Google Music App, Google Hangout App, Google Plus App, would all be great.

I think Microsoft has the best software, Google has the best 'services'. Wish we had a truly good software plus services model. Not everyone wants to use the web browser for everything!

I think you'll be waiting a long time for anything more than the pointless Google Search app. Google are determined to support Microsoft's platforms as little as possible.

ObiWanToby said,
I think Microsoft has the best software, Google has the best 'services'. Wish we had a truly good software plus services model. Not everyone wants to use the web browser for everything!

exactly!!!! comment of the year in my opinion

I'd be interested to know whether the data that's sent to Bing is anonymised or not. I'm not sure I like the idea of all my searches being linked to my Windows account and sent to MS.

Microsoft always includes choice for when you want and don't want to send your statistics to Microsoft, I don't see this being any different if it indeed has the ability to send such information.

jakem1 said,
I'd be interested to know whether the data that's sent to Bing is anonymised or not. I'm not sure I like the idea of all my searches being linked to my Windows account and sent to MS.

Take off your tin foil hat, why would Microsoft do anything bad with your data? (At least that is what is said when people complain because Google does take your info, collect it, and use it to make money off of you by selling your info to the highest bidder)

vcfan said,
Microsoft always includes choice for when you want and don't want to send your statistics to Microsoft, I don't see this being any different if it indeed has the ability to send such information.

They often do but not always. For instance, there's no way to log out of bing.com in IE on my Surface so every search I perform is linked to my account. I can't switch this off and I can't control what information is sent. This is the situation I want to avoid with the built in search in Windows 8.

SoylentG said,

Take off your tin foil hat, why would Microsoft do anything bad with your data? (At least that is what is said when people complain because Google does take your info, collect it, and use it to make money off of you by selling your info to the highest bidder)

Don't worry. I trust Google even less

MVD said,
"Why would Microsoft want your data"

LMFAO. good god what flavor kool-aid we drinkin today

He was being sarcastic.

jakem1 said,

They often do but not always. For instance, there's no way to log out of bing.com in IE on my Surface so every search I perform is linked to my account. I can't switch this off and I can't control what information is sent. This is the situation I want to avoid with the built in search in Windows 8.

that's weird. I just went to bing.com on my surface in IE, and in the top right corner it shows me as logged in. If I click my name,i get a pull down menu that allows me to sign out, or check my search history. If I click search history, it has the option for me to turn it off. Does this not show for you?

Even the bing metro app has a setting to turn search history off.

vcfan said,

that's weird. I just went to bing.com on my surface in IE, and in the top right corner it shows me as logged in. If I click my name,i get a pull down menu that allows me to sign out, or check my search history. If I click search history, it has the option for me to turn it off. Does this not show for you?

Even the bing metro app has a setting to turn search history off.

Well its Microsoft so they need to have that option in bold or else its just a ploy to get your data...../s

vcfan said,

that's weird. I just went to bing.com on my surface in IE, and in the top right corner it shows me as logged in. If I click my name,i get a pull down menu that allows me to sign out, or check my search history. If I click search history, it has the option for me to turn it off. Does this not show for you?

Even the bing metro app has a setting to turn search history off.

Yes, you can sign out but next time you return to bing.com it will automatically sign you back in. Search history can be turned off (although it's a bit flakey and sometimes turns itself back on - probably based on cookies) but that's doesn't prevent MS from recording your search history at their end.

I assume that MS will include options to control how this search works and what information they will send and store. As I said in my original post I will be interested to see how they manage this.

jakem1 said,

Yes, you can sign out but next time you return to bing.com it will automatically sign you back in. Search history can be turned off (although it's a bit flakey and sometimes turns itself back on - probably based on cookies) but that's doesn't prevent MS from recording your search history at their end.

I assume that MS will include options to control how this search works and what information they will send and store. As I said in my original post I will be interested to see how they manage this.

that's weird on your end. if I log off, it doesn't sign me back in. it asks for username and password every single time . and as far as them recording your search results, how can they if you are logged off? theres no account to associate the searches with.

jakem1 said,

Yes, you can sign out but next time you return to bing.com it will automatically sign you back in. Search history can be turned off (although it's a bit flakey and sometimes turns itself back on - probably based on cookies) but that's doesn't prevent MS from recording your search history at their end.

I assume that MS will include options to control how this search works and what information they will send and store. As I said in my original post I will be interested to see how they manage this.

ok I just figured out whats going on. this isn't any way a privacy breach,its by design.

you are signed into a Microsoft account on the OS itself,so everything will use your account. all apps and anything requiring a Microsoft account will auto log in.

But, if you don't want this behavior, then just switch in the metro control panel to a "local account". this way you only have to sign in to the services you want to,and can log off anything without it automatically re loging you back on, for example, you can just use your credentials in the mail app,and store app. IE will not log you in at all.

vcfan said,

ok I just figured out whats going on. this isn't any way a privacy breach,its by design.

you are signed into a Microsoft account on the OS itself,so everything will use your account. all apps and anything requiring a Microsoft account will auto log in.

But, if you don't want this behavior, then just switch in the metro control panel to a "local account". this way you only have to sign in to the services you want to,and can log off anything without it automatically re loging you back on, for example, you can just use your credentials in the mail app,and store app. IE will not log you in at all.

I don't think it's reasonable to have to resort to hacks and workarounds to avoid privacy breaches.

Sorry, the edit button's missing for some reason.

Of course it's a privacy breach. I log in with my Windows account to sync settings and add mail, calendar, contacts, etc. Not to let MS monitor my online activity. I'd have no problem with them doing what they're doing if I could switch it off but I can't. It would also be nice if they warned you that this is a side effect of signing in with an MS account but they don't.

jakem1 said,
Sorry, the edit button's missing for some reason.

Of course it's a privacy breach. I log in with my Windows account to sync settings and add mail, calendar, contacts, etc. Not to let MS monitor my online activity. I'd have no problem with them doing what they're doing if I could switch it off but I can't. It would also be nice if they warned you that this is a side effect of signing in with an MS account but they don't.

the purpose of the Microsoft account is so that you don't have to sign in anymore anywhere,but I do get what youre saying about how the search history is on by default. but at the same time,i don't think they are saving or scanning your search history for their use or some marketing, its just there for you in a database kind of like email is. they don't have access to your email,and I see nowhere or any hints that they collect your search history and use it for their own purposes.

jakem1 said,

Don't worry. I trust Google even less

Because you're a very important person whose data would be of interest to Google and Microsoft? He's right, take off the tinfoil hat.

Though I do hope you can turn off "website results" (As I REALLY hate that), I definitely like the fact that you can search from anywhere in the OS... Hallelujah...

Windows Phone so badly needs this , I hope it comes via 8.1 !
It is really frustrating to go to people app then tap search button and then finally write the name , and even frustrating is visiting the music app , clicking music and swiping twice to reach out to all songs and finally realize you can't search for songs , you have to tap the alphabet and then scroll and find it and then play it!

All this can become so much better if I can simply tap the search key and get results from everywhere in phone.

I agree. I believe that's how it used to be in WP7 (before the Mango update I believe?) but Microsoft really wants to hard-wire Bing into that button. Ideally a short tap should search across the phone, while a long tap (maybe 1.5 seconds) will launch the Bing app.

srprimeaux said,
Will these Bing searches outside of Bing.com count towards our reward points for using Bing?

That'll be kind of cool but I kind of doubt it...

srprimeaux said,
Will these Bing searches outside of Bing.com count towards our reward points for using Bing?

Already do in the Bing app so I'd bet they do

As long as there's an option to change it to another engine (keep the EU from foaming at the mouth) and an option to disable it (don't want it going the way of Amazon on Unity), sounds like a nice addition... sounds like a much improved version of federated searches in the previous versions of Windows. Wonder if we'll be able to add additional sources to that too...

Why should the EU care. Today the Android head said that Windows Phone does not have the critical mass for them to write apps for it. They have said the same for Win8. If a company cannot be bothered to write an app for the OS, then why should Microsoft be held responsible? Oh, forgot, this is the EU. They will find a way.

And of course, if the tables were turned and it was MS saying there is no need to write apps for the ChromeBook because of its abysmal sales, we would have the usual people in here complaining about how mean Microsoft is to their competitors, it is off-putting, and must stop now, because being mean is just not nice. But since Google said it, it is perfectly fine.

MVD said,
^ speaking of "the usual people in here complaining"

cry more

I will remember this the next time we have a group of people in here whining there is an article about Scroogled. We see it over an over again, people like you pouting that it is not fair how Microsoft treats poor, poor Google. Reminds me of that "LEAVE BRITTNEY ALONE!!!1!1" video how you people act.

Wow, I wasn't looking to start an argument over that EU thing.. I just meant I hope they took the initiative and made it flexible in the first place so this sort of drama can be avoided in the first place, never mind being able to add additional sources because that would be pretty handy... because mostly yea, they'll get fined just because it's Microsoft.

You mean you can't wait for targeted advertising on your metro apps based on what you searched for on your local computer? Where do I sign up?!?

Looks like Bing is tanking even further and MSFT is getting desperate.

recursive said,
Looks like Bing is tanking even further and MSFT is getting desperate.

Looks like Microsoft is just expanding on a feature that's already present in previous versions of Windows and making it that much more convenient to access.

recursive said,
You mean you can't wait for targeted advertising on your metro apps based on what you searched for on your local computer? Where do I sign up?!?

Looks like Bing is tanking even further and MSFT is getting desperate.

What are you smoking?

recursive said,
You mean you can't wait for targeted advertising on your metro apps based on what you searched for on your local computer? Where do I sign up?!?

Looks like Bing is tanking even further and MSFT is getting desperate.

So Google tanked a loooooooooong time ago (yes, that is 10 o's)

recursive said,
You mean you can't wait for targeted advertising on your metro apps based on what you searched for on your local computer? Where do I sign up?!?

Looks like Bing is tanking even further and MSFT is getting desperate.


Right, so Google is failing because they felt the need to create Google Now and put it on all android devices. Seriously dude, what's your problem?

siah1214 said,

Right, so Google is failing because they felt the need to create Google Now and put it on all android devices. Seriously dude, what's your problem?

You know which website you're posting logic to right?